Most of us have thought about just hitting the road and getting away from the humdrum of everyday life at some point. Who doesn’t want to roam freely and explore the world instead of grinding the nine-to-five till the end of time? But before you head out on the adventure of a lifetime, you must ensure that you’ve planned it all correctly beforehand. From packing the essentials to insurance and healthcare, here are some valuable tips for living on the road!
Start planning early
Planning weekend trips and seaside vacations is one thing, but planning to live on the road for a year or even permanently is a different story. You need to know where exactly you want to go, who you’ll be travelling with, where you’ll be spending your nights, where you’ll be eating, what you want to bring with you, your health needs and those of your companion(s)… there’s a lot to consider, so it’s best to start planning long before you set off.
Consider your budget carefully
Plan your budget carefully – consider how much money you have available and how you can most efficiently spend it on food, accommodation, fuel, vehicle maintenance, entertainment etc. Never forget to leave room in your budget for any possible emergency spending – everything can happen while you’re on the road.
Declutter and organise all your belongings
Whether you rent or have your own home, you have to consider what you’re going to take with you on your trip (or a new way of life) and what you’re going to leave behind. If you’re renting, you’ll have to find a place for everything that isn’t coming with you. You can sell it, donate it, gift it to friends and family or move it into long-term storage.
Take an inventory of everything you own
Now that you’ve decluttered and organised your belongings take some time to note all your items and whether they’re staying behind with family/in storage or you’ll be taking them with you on the long haul. It helps to write down a list of what you have, so if you happen to lose something while moving it all around, you’ll know about it.
Pack the essentials well
Properly packed luggage can make a big difference when it comes to space – nobody wants to travel in an absolutely stuffed car where there’s barely enough room to breathe! Roll your clothes instead of folding them – not only does it save space, but it also allows you to see all of your garments at a glance! Consider using sports bags instead of suitcases, as they are more flexible and easier to arrange when dealing with limited space.
Some essential items to add to your belongings if you don’t already have them:
- A spare tire and other basic spares for your vehicle (bulbs, fuses etc.).
- Storage baskets to help keep things nice and tidy.
- Pans, pots, cutlery and other cooking utensils.
- A portable power bank and adapters for all your device charging needs.
- Reusable beeswax wraps for keeping your food fresh (bonus points for being eco-friendly!).
- A 4G WiFi mobile router, if you need to stay connected.
- All-purpose soap.
- Sleeping bags/mattresses if you’ll be travelling in a van or want to go camping.
Documents and important medical information
Being out on the road might make you feel carefree and invincible, but if you’re not leaving your whole prior life behind, there are still many things to take care of before setting off.
Scan/make copies of any important documents you might need and upload them to the cloud or take them with you. Digitise your utility and tax payments, if possible, so you don’t worry about them while on the move. Take into account your medical history and that of your companions – make any necessary appointments beforehand and take whatever medications you might need with you (don’t forget to get an all-purpose first aid kit, too).
Consider storage options
You know what you want to take with you for your life on the road, but what about everything that you’ll leave behind? There are things you don’t want to sell, like that antique rocking chair from your grandmother, your collection of delicate china, your dozens and dozens of books, etc. But you don’t want to burden your friends and parents with them either – they’ve got more than enough things of their own to store if you’re in such a conundrum!
When you move your belongings into a secure storage facility, you can rest assured that nothing will happen to them while you’re out exploring the world. You can store furniture, electronics and other delicate belongings without worrying about humidity, dampness or cold weather. You can rent however much space you need and just leave the rest to the professionals.
Considering how much you’ll leave behind when setting off to live on the road, it can be worrying and even turn many people off from the whole prospect. Taking care of some last-minute details before you leave can spell the difference between a great trip and a nerve-wracking one which needs to end early.
Related to your home
If you’re not renting, you’ll have to decide what to do with your home. Do you want to sell it, rent it or leave it vacant? Each option has pros and cons, so the final decision is up to you. If you’ll be leaving your home vacant, it would be best to make arrangements with family or friends to keep an eye on it while you’re gone.
Related to your vehicle
Make sure the vehicle you will be travelling with is in perfect condition and is up to date on all possible maintenance. You don’t want your only method of transportation breaking down in the middle of nowhere! If you travel with one vehicle and leave behind another, consider putting it in a garage or using a long-term storage solution.
Related to work and life
If you don’t work remotely, you will have to decide what to do with your job. Will you take unpaid leave, or will you quit the job outright? Whatever you choose to do, make sure to inform your boss and colleagues in advance.
Inform all your loved ones what you intend to do, where you’ll be going and how long you’ll be gone. Give them all the necessary contact information so they can get in touch with you if need be.
Paperwork related details
It is best to get a good travel insurance policy, which covers anything that might go wrong during your trip. Inform your bank, healthcare provider and insurance company that you’ll be away, especially if you’re going abroad. Sort out any needed paperwork so you don’t have to deal with bureaucratic headaches when you’re thousands of kilometres from your home.
The specifics of taking to life on the road or even just going on a yearlong trip vary widely from person to person, but we do hope that our article has helped and inspired you for an adventure unlike any other! The world is yours to explore!